Unite and GMB surrender to BA and mass sackings!

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Unite postcard appealing to Chancellor Sunak – now the TUC are giving him their full support

BOTH the Unite and GMB trade unions have given up the fight to halt the mass sackings organised by British Airways, centring on Heathrow Airport.

Instead of organising a strike ballot and a mass picket for today to stop the airport and the mass sackings, the two unions have organised an electronic ‘ballot’, or consultation.
The two unions issued a statement that: ‘Due to the number of individual emails we are sure you will appreciate we are not able to reply personally to every one of you.
‘We did however look at the most popular questions received and created a FAQ document.
‘At this time there are specific questions that we cannot answer as these will be discussed in finer detail with the company.
‘We recognise your frustration at not having full answers but for those of our members who have yet to vote there are ultimately two choices:
‘A vote YES to secure your employment with BA today.
‘When our business picks up it is then we will focus on returning to our normal contractual hours whilst having retained our flexibility of roster swaps and maintaining a fixed day/off pattern for our work-life balance.
‘Vote NO and accept 165 colleagues being issued with an immediate Compulsory Redundant notice.
‘Remaining selected staff will be placed on a new HCS2020 contract with immediate effect, losing our negotiated T&Cs. We will have no choice but to accept BA’s new contract.
‘We would also expect the company to implement a reduction in hours with NO input from your Trade Unions.
‘It is also naive to think we will be working the Winter schedule without any reduced hours due to predicted passenger loads.
‘The importance of signing the letter of intent was to prevent immediate compulsory redundancies, which is what we have seen in other sections within the last seven days.
‘It has been very sad to see so many of our BA employees in other areas lose their jobs and we as your senior reps would not be able to look you in the eye if we had not done our very best in a dire situation to prevent this.
‘In conclusion, each and every one of you owe it to yourself to secure your future but this is a democratic process and we respect your decision.
‘Thank you.’
The two giant unions give no lead to their members and do not organise for national strike action to defeat BA and bring down the Tory government.
They leave the matter to the individual worker to decide whether he/she accepts redundancy or is prepared to work on much inferior wages and conditions.
They cynically add: ‘We respect your decision’!
The union has revealed that:

  • The Company wants to change the way we are currently rostered with the introduction of variable shift lengths with shifts being allocated closer to the day of operation, seasonal rosters and relief shifts to provide more efficient coverage over busier periods.’

For the workforce, the two unions volunteer:

  • In order to mitigate compulsory redundancies all colleagues in Heathrow will agree to take an equal percentage reduction in hours and pay of 11%. Should business improve, colleagues will be able to increase their hours to their original contracted hours as at 31 August 2020

  • During winter 2020/2021 all colleagues will take unpaid leave to equate to approximately 5 weeks per person.

  • All A scale staff will have their pay reduced permanently by 10% (basic and shift) from 1 April

  • There will be no basic or shift pay increases or increments for January 2023

  • The previously collectively agreed pay deal due to be implemented on 1 April 2021 to be permanently removed.’

Shame on Unite and the GMB.
It is not too late to overturn these plans. Shop stewards must bring the whole of Heathrow out on strike on Tuesday morning to launch the movement to make the bosses pay for the crisis, defend the interests of the working class and show that we are not slaves!